Bed bugs are generally not considered harmful for humans. Their bites can cause itching, and redness on some people while others might not have any reaction to them at all.
When it comes to human health many people forget the mental part of our well-being. Which is almost as important as having a healthy body. There has been little to no research done on the effects of bed bugs on mental health.
However, there were surveys conducted online that indicate a negative toll on mental health of homeowners that had a severe bed bug problem.
So how far can bed bugs affect you negatively in your mental well-being? Is it possible for bed bugs to cause short term memory loss? If yes, then how do bed bugs manage to cause these psychological issues?
Can bed bug bites be the reason why you keep forgetting things?
Can Bed Bugs Cause Memory Loss – The Facts?
There has been no scientific evidence found that relates memory loss with the presence of bed bugs. However, there are a few online surveys available that collected and analyzed the experience of homeowners who dealt with bed bugs.
A majority of homeowners pointed that they were going through added mental pressure and anxiety because of the problem. These online surveys are presented as a base for proving or suggesting the possible effects of bed bugs on memory loss.
Most of these studies are not reliable. Since it’s just a compilation of blogs with random people sharing their experience with bed bugs. There was no controlled environment where these opinions could have been filtered and moderated depending on every individual’s situation.
What Causes Memory Loss in Humans
Memory loss is a natural phenomenon that takes effect as you age. However, there is a difference between occasionally forgetting your car keys, and not being able to remember important stuff when you try your best to remember it.
Memory loss can be attributed to many diseases. Such as:
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Alzheimer’s disease is the one of the most fatal diseases that can kill your quality of life. This disease attacks the neurons in our brain, seriously damaging our ability to understand, remember and process information.
Alzheimers comes with different symptoms, one of which is forgetfulness. The memory loss associated with alzheimers tends to get worse with time. It can reach a point where it can become really hard for the patient to work at the office or home.
Alzheimer’s patients will repeatedly repeat a question over and over again. They forget conversations, events, or can get lost in familiar places. In the worst case scenario, the patient starts forgetting about their family or even the name of objects.
Memory loss due to concussion is a well-known phenomenon to most people. It has been widely used in movie plots, and most people are familiar with it. A concussion happens when someone suffers a blow to the head. The intensity of the blow determines the post-concussion symptoms of the victim.
These can include fatigue, brain fog, light sensitivity and mood swings and loss of memory. Depending on how severe the concussion was. Symptoms can last even a lifetime.
The most notable concussions caused are because of road accidents. These are medically identified as moderate to severe TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).
Memory Loss Due to Minor Concussions:
Road accidents are not the only cause of concussions. These can happen in any part of your daily life such as sports. A good example is rugby. It’s a sport of speed and power. It’s not uncommon for a player to suffer low to moderate concussion during play.
A study at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, tested players to suffer mild concussions during a competition. They found that players with concussion suffered from memory loss for upto 36 hours of play.
Another clinical research published in Journal of Neuropsychiatry researched the effects of sport concussions in college students. The study found that college athletes suffered from memory loss up to a year after the injury.
Parkison’s disease causes a lot of cognitive changes in patients. Loss of memory is one of them, but fortunately not all patients are affected equally with them. Some patients can have a hard time remembering stuff while others might have no effect on their cognitive ability to remember and solve problems.
Parkinson’s affects the attention span and the ability to execute functions properly more than it impacts the memory.
Can Bed Bugs Cause Memory Loss Indirectly
Neural diseases that are generally related with memory loss are found in elderly. If you an adult in your 20s, 30s or even 40s you should not be at risk of such diseases.
If you are suffering from memory loss, and you feel the problem only started after you got bed bugs. Your memory loss can be indirectly linked with the problem.
Lack of Sleep:
A recent study at the University of California Berkeley showed a huge impact of lack of sleep on memory. The researchers at the University figured out that bran waves produced during sleep help retrieve memories from the hippocampus which is the storage for all memories. These waves help transmit the memories to the prefrontal cortex.
Having disrupted patterns in sleep can make it hard for the prefrontal cortex to retrieve memories. Causing memory loss.
Since many homeowners suffer from quality of sleep issues because of bed bugs. Memory loss can be indirectly linked to the presence of bed bugs.
A study published in The American Journal of Medicine indicated people suffering from bed bug bites or infestation can develop the symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress). The signs include flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety and avoidance behaviors.
Stress is a natural reaction of our body when it senses danger. It produces stress hormones for us to get in a state of hyperactivity and releases a lot of energy so we can focus on solving a problem. It’s exactly what happens when a gazel sees a lion in the wild. The stress hormones kick in making the gazel run for his life.
The only problem with being in stress is that the human body is only meant to be in stress for a short period of time. Just like in the wild, where the gazel outruns the lion and everything goes back to normal. Or in another scenario, the gazel dies.
Stress is a deadly mental state that can deteriorate the body slowly. Many studies have proved devastating effects of stress of cognitive performance and memory. It has many harmful effects and memory loss is one of them.